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November 16, 1992

Jim Courier


Q. How are you feeling?

JIM COURIER: I am feeling good.

Q. What are your plans for the tournament today?

JIM COURIER: My plans are to play as well as I can and hopefully things will work out for the best.

Q. What do you think about Boris Becker at the moment now?

JIM COURIER: Boris played very well in Paris, so I think he is playing pretty good.

Q. Who do you think is the player who has the biggest chances here to win?

JIM COURIER: I don't think it is very clear who has the best chance. I think everyone is playing well and deserves to be here. It is going to be a good fight all the way. I think every man is going to be very tough.

Q. We met you at the airport this morning and we saw your baseball cap. What is about your baseball, the people say that when you are playing tennis you are a little bit like you are playing baseball. When you are playing baseball, it is looking a little bit like tennis?

JIM COURIER: No. It is hard to look like a tennis player on the baseball field. We don't play too much baseball anymore.

Q. People say also that you are playing like a machine. What do you think about that?

JIM COURIER: Well, if a machine is effective and does its job, I think that is a good comparison.

Q. Jim, when you play Krajicek on Saturday, I don't think many people saw you that frustrated ever before. But you were.

JIM COURIER: Yes, I was.

Q. Can you explain it? I mean, was it that important to you?

JIM COURIER: It is always important. Every match you play is important match. I just -- I just basically beat myself, which I don't mind losing, I don't have a problem with that, I have a problem when I don't perform up to my expectations.

Q. That is it?

JIM COURIER: It is that simple.

Q. Did you already know that Krajicek was to play here when you--

JIM COURIER: Actually I had no idea. I didn't even know Ivan pulled out until the match was over.

Q. Didn't affect your play, didn't affect your --

JIM COURIER: Not at all, no.

Q. You didn't have your thoughts already here?

JIM COURIER: No. Definitely not.

Q. I would like to ask you if you can tell me what is the most important thing in the tennis year for you? Is it the Masters or maybe Davis Cup final?

JIM COURIER: Why did I have a feeling you were going to say that? The most important thing for me during the year are the Grand Slam tournaments. Neither those two.

Q. Who apart from yourself would you say is the real favorite here?

JIM COURIER: I answered that question to TV.

Q. I am sorry?

JIM COURIER: No problem. I really don't see any one favorite. I mean every time you get the best eight players together it is a deep field. It's going to be a good fight for everybody.

Q. Jim, you are not going to play the Grand Slam Cup?


Q. Why?

JIM COURIER: Doesn't fit in my schedule.

Q. You could maybe lose the first place at the ATP here. Does that cross your mind?

JIM COURIER: No, not really because it is not really something that I am losing. I am not worried about losing anything. I am worried about going out playing the best I can on the court. That is all I can do, so there is nothing to lose or gain or to worry about.

Q. No question of counting points, it's a question of playing games?

JIM COURIER: You know, if you play the computer, you know, what is the purpose. I think at the end of the day I am not going to sit and say back, gosh, I got this many points during my career, what a player I was. I am going to say, you know, hopefully I have played some good tennis. I am going to look back and enjoy the kind of tennis I played and not what the computer says.

Q. Do you think people are too much involved with the points?

JIM COURIER: Well, the point system is flawed. There is no ifs and/or buts about it. The point system is not working. It is very obvious about that, but that is the way the system is right now. Hopefully, we are going to get the players together here and maybe here, maybe later we are going to change it. Because it is just not -- it doesn't work.

Q. In what way would you like to change it?

JIM COURIER: The best of 14 system doesn't work. It is true, every tournament should count when you are a professional. You can play -- I have used this example before -- you can play 18 tournaments, you can win 14 tournaments, lose first rounds at every Grand Slam and conceivably still be ranked number one or very close to it. Every tournament should count. The Grand Slams won't even count on your record if you did that. There would have been four tournaments that won't be in your best 14, so they don't count. And it is just not right. And the point system is flawed. The points to win these tournaments as compared to Grand Slam tournaments is -- the Grand Slams should be much more and they aren't.

Q. Jim, how would you rate your indoor season this year?

JIM COURIER: I think I have had overall a pretty good indoor season. I was at the finals in San Francisco and Brussels. Quarters in Paris, in Stuttgart and semis, Antwerp, so I think overall it has been pretty successful.

Q. Speaking of the Davis Cup final, will your rival, Swiss number one just won now a Kremlin Cup tournament in Moscow, and he then will have three weeks--

JIM COURIER: My big rival.

Q. Yes. He will then have three weeks' vacation. Would you prefer to have three weeks' vacation before Davis Cup or would you feel recovered and fresh enough to go into this tournament as well? You said you were very tired at the U.S. Open.

JIM COURIER: I think I will be fine.

Q. You don't get enough rest as a tennis professional anyway because the season is so long and --

JIM COURIER: It really is. We don't really get enough rest.

Q. -- for a top athlete?

JIM COURIER: You try to make due with what they give you. It is -- ideally I like to play a little less. But you have to play certain tournaments. You have to do it.

Q. Is that something to change as well or not?

JIM COURIER: It is something I won't mind changing. That is again what the point system is, you are penalized if you don't play more.

Q. But you could change it, or try to change it, all the players?

JIM COURIER: Yeah, it's the ATP Tour and we are the ATPs, so we should be able to change it.

Q. You have the power?

JIM COURIER: We have some power, yeah. If the top eight players can't change it, it is not going to be changed.

Q. Are you actually going to have a meeting here, the top eight players?

JIM COURIER: We really haven't talked about it. But you know, I am speaking to Stefan during practice, and we have the same feelings. I think you will find that most of the top players will have that feeling because most of the time we are the ones that are playing many, many more matches than the other players, and therefore, we are more tired and they play less. The other players are not going to like it. There is no doubt about that, but that -- for them, it is just they play as much as they like and it doesn't never hurt them. Once you are into the top, let us say, 60 or so, you are in every week, so you play 30 tournaments a year, you are never going to fall out if you stay healthy you just -- it's great job security; it protects everybody. Honestly, it has been great for the tournaments directors because they have gotten stronger fields. The clay courters won't play the indoors tournaments and the fast court players won't play the outdoor court tournaments. In essence, you may be getting stronger ranked field, but you may be having less quality play in the tournaments. So there is a few changes that I'd like to see made certainly, but hopefully we will have discussions on it later.

Q. Of the top players, who would be the leader as their spokesperson for this group to try and get some changes made? Would you do it? You say you were talking with Stefan.

JIM COURIER: Stefan had a good idea. He said that he would like to see us get together and have Mac come in and be our spokesperson.

Q. Serious?

JIM COURIER: Yeah, because Mac would just go out and won't take any crap from anybody. Would spread it out. You guys would print it. Because you love to print what he writes, what he says. So if we can get -- I think John would love to be our spokesman, so to speak. He is one of us.

Q. I know. Were you talking about ranking systems?

JIM COURIER: Ranking systems, yeah, basically.

Q. What was the other thing? You said there were two things?

JIM COURIER: Talking about the discrepancy between Grand Slam points as opposed to ATP Tour points. The Grand Slam should be a lot more heavily rated than they are already. And also was saying about-- we talked a little bit about the amount of tournaments that we had to play, but taking the ranking system back down to an average eliminates the advantage of playing more.

Q. In fairness, the top players have been saying that for years?

JIM COURIER: Top players are the ones that play at all the matches.

Q. Sure. But nothing ever seems to be done about it. Because of the lack of --

JIM COURIER: Probably because there has not been a good concerted effort to do it. If we get a concerted effort together and have all-- I have spoken to a few of the guys about it, but the guys that I have spoken to have been in full agreement. If we can get everyone banded together, it will happen, I think.

Q. Jim, do you think the ATP has let the top players down in that regard, the fact that--

JIM COURIER: I don't think it has really been much of a let-down, you know. In that I mean, the top players are still the top guys. You don't see guys with 30 tournaments breaking in just because of that. But I just think that you know, there -- there are sometimes when guys will be playing their 27th tournament and they have already gotten 14 good results and they are playing a second round match against and they know that they -- that this tournament is just not going to count for them -- it's just an exhibition -- unless they beat you and they just swing away and they don't care, and, you know, that -- the point is that everyone should have to be accounted-- held accountable for what they are doing out there. That is what being a professional is about, is playing your best everyday. When you are out there, you put yourself on the line and there is lots of times when you are not doing that with the best of 14 system. I am just harping on the negatives right now. There are positives to it as well, that I discussed with him as far as the tournament directors go, that they are getting stronger fields and whatnot, but you are also getting the hardcourt players going and playing the clay court tournaments and clay court players playing the indoor tournaments, when you got guys like that would normally wouldn't play those tournaments.

Q. You think maybe they could have something whereby only 10 tournaments on one surface for argument's sake? I mean, like 10 clay courts; then you have to make up the rest or something else?

JIM COURIER: I haven't thought about it. That could happen.

Q. I just thought about it actually. Connors was saying last week, Jim, that he is slightly worried that although the top players are better possibly than they have ever been before in terms of standards, as he is always harping about, about what a character he is?

JIM COURIER: About what character is?

Q. No, what a character he is.

JIM COURIER: That is for sure.

Q. Can you identify with his sort of worries that people may get turned off by lack of showmanship here?

JIM COURIER: Let me say one thing about that. I have so much respect for Jimmy and the things he has done in the game as far as being a great competitor and everything, and I really you know, have emulated him in some aspects, but if he thinks that going out there and cussing, flipping people off, is something that the game needs, well, that is not something I feel the game needs. I feel a player like Stefan is the kind of player that it needs -- that people should look up to, as far as the character and integrity they have for the game. That is my firm opinion. I don't think we need people going out there and going to have some controversy. I think that is good, but it is not going to be me that is going to do it. I am not going to go out of my way to do it just because Jimmy thinks that that is needed in the game.

Q. In terms of the general salt and pepper of the game, of the general salt and pepper of the game, is it just will?

JIM COURIER: I think you just have different personalities. You have your and Jimmys your Macs, that is not the kind of personality I want to be, on the court, anyway.

Q. In the past week there were a lot of discussion about dope in tennis. Do you believe that there is somebody who is taking drugs to play better?

JIM COURIER: You know --

Q. Honest, I mean?

JIM COURIER: I really don't -- I don't see -- I mean, if we are talking about like steroids or anything, I don't see what is the advantage for a tennis player, except maybe if you are injured and trying to rebuild your muscles and come back, I don't see the advantage of steroids. I don't know what other drugs they would be using, speed or something, if you were feeling slow, but I drink water. If I feel flat I am going to have a little Coke -- caffeine, not coke -- but the drink, I don't think that we have a problem. I have been tested four times this year, and it is a pain every time I get tested, but you know, I will take a test any time for anybody; I don't have a problem with that.

Q. Nevertheless, ATP refused the Belgium government to have control done in Antwerp last week?

JIM COURIER: That is because they just tested everybody in Stockholm. I mean, it is no fun getting tested. You come off the court, you are maybe a little dehydrated; then you have to wait around until you can pee. I remember Cincinnati, I got off the court at 11:00 at night. I was there 'till one clock trying to go to the bathroom and had to play the next day at two o'clock. It is not fun. It is really not fun.

Q. That leads to it every time-- track and field athletes do it every time?

JIM COURIER: I am glad we are not at that point. I think they have a valid-- Ben Johnson told you what the power of that stuff can do.

Q. When you see -- have you ever seen any tennis player that in your opinion, had a build-up of muscles in an unbelievable way, two, three months or something that caused them to be suspect?

JIM COURIER: I haven't.

Q. Because probably because it is a long distance, 2, 3, hours you have to play.

JIM COURIER: I don't know enough about the drugs to say. No comment. I only know what I have read.

Q. Last year you were maybe for somebody, surprised of the year and this year you are the confirm of the year. What was more difficult to become, a surprise or to confirm?

JIM COURIER: The first year is-- that is the fun year, and this year has been a lot of fun, too. Because I haven't worried about it. I have been going out and just playing tennis and let the results take care of themselves.

Q. You never worry about what you can do? Never doubt yourself?

JIM COURIER: Everyone has doubts from time to time, but the guys that can put those doubts aside the quickest are the ones that will do the best over the long run.

Q. What would you compare your shape right now to last year?

JIM COURIER: Actually, I am not quite as tired as I was here last year. Last year I was really really tired. I was ready for the year to finish. This year, it has been just as long -- if not longer -- a year, but I had that month off and after the Davis Cup and this year I feel kind of not so bad. I have played three tournaments in a row; I am not tired. So I feel good. Maybe it is here (pointing to his head).

Q. The fact this-- they don't consider you an indoor specialist; does it bother you that you had match point against Becker or you were in the final last year?

JIM COURIER: I am for sure not an indoor specialist. I may-- I think, I play good on all surfaces, so I don't think I am a specialist on any one surface.

Q. You came to the net a little bit more, I think, in the last match against Krajicek in Antwerp. I saw something on the television.


Q. You could serve and volley as well?

JIM COURIER: Hopefully I am going to keep practicing and see if I can do it.

Q. Similar to Michael. By the way, he is just talking about it, too; about his game, anyway.

JIM COURIER: Well, you have to -- there are some players that you have to do it.

Q. Playing Wednesday again. Do you think -- you seem more possibilities to beat him this time, I mean?

JIM COURIER: To do what?

Q. To beat him.


Q. Yes.

JIM COURIER: I think every time you go out there it's a new match and the match we had in Antwerp was a very strange match. Lots of ups and downs, and hopefully I am going to play a little better. I think I am going to.

Q. You haven't played Edberg since Australian Open. Would it be a fight if you are playing for number one title?

JIM COURIER: Yeah, it would be nice, it would be real nice to play Stefan.

Q. Make your blood flowing?

JIM COURIER: It is too early to worry about it.

Q. Gives the next tournament sort of spice to this tournament, it is still open?

JIM COURIER: This tournament is pretty spicy anyway. It is pretty spicy.

Q. How do you feel playing here in Frankfurt now today?


JIM COURIER: I feel real good.

Q. What do you feel about Goran in your group, Ivanisevic?

JIM COURIER: Everybody here is good, and every match is going to be tough.

Q. Who is the toughest in your group?

JIM COURIER: I'll tell you after it is over.

Q. That is -- I don't know, I just want to hear something about Ivanisevic from your mouth. How do you see him when he is on the other side of the net?

JIM COURIER: I see him as a good player, very good player.

Q. Would it be hard for you to beat him?

JIM COURIER: I think it would be hard for me to beat him.

Q. What about Chang?

JIM COURIER: I think it would be hard for me to beat him, too.

Q. Thank you very much.

Q. Are you going to try and get together with some of the other players to see if you can get something done about the point system. Is that right?

JIM COURIER: Yes. I think I was speaking to Stefan about it. Speaking to a few people about it and it is flawed. It is a flawed system, and it needs corrections, and I'd like to see some players get together and offer some suggestions and try to get them push through.

Q. What would be the ideal system? Is there one?

JIM COURIER: We need to go back to a system where we are not looking at -- where you get free tournaments, where you are back on average, and we need to have the tournaments weighted properly.

Q. More given to Grand Slams, is that what you are meaning?


Q. That would make it easier -- I mean, you feel at the moment you are having to play too much, forced to play too much tennis?

JIM COURIER: Yeah, basically, it is. It is out there, a care to play more, there is a care enough out there. For example, I played-- this will be my 19th event this year and it isn't fair that Wimbledon doesn't count as one of my tournaments, you know, is that fair? I don't think some-- I think that that should be on there.

Q. Do you feel that, it is going to shorten your career, that you just have to play too much too quickly if things don't change?

JIM COURIER: I played the same as I did last year, same, you know, same amount of weeks this year as last year. And I see it getting you know, maybe a little less as my career goes, I certainly don't see myself playing more, and you have to pace yourself otherwise you go too fast. You burn.

Q. Is it the same as your year has -- times when you have been really high; then you have had a bit of a trough and had a difficult time to get it going again; would that be fair?

JIM COURIER: Perfect example was after the Olympics, you know, I was designated into Cincinnati, and Indianapolis and I had to go play in Cincinnati, which you know, I was very, very tired and changing surfaces and time zones. It was pretty rough, but you do what you got to do, you know, you have to meet the ATP commitment.

Q. I mean, how -- do you feel you might be able to put so much pressure on them? Were you not consulted at all?

JIM COURIER: I think we can put some pressure if we banned together.

Q. '94 are we talking about?

JIM COURIER: I guess. Unless -- I think now because the tournaments going to get started it would be too tough to get the guys together, but say, who knows, maybe in Australia, we can have a meeting or just -- not even a meeting, just like a dinner, just go out and talk.

Q. Because you feel that among the top players, that you have one voice, you all feel the same; it's just a question of getting it together?

JIM COURIER: I think everyone has been-- feels about the same just by the nature of what happens to you.

Q. ATP Tour first came into being, the whole point of it was to give the players the same overall; that was the idea behind it?

JIM COURIER: That is right.

Q. Now is the opportunity to maybe show that is what you are going to do?

JIM COURIER: Exactly. I hope that can happen.

Q. Do you feel you have got enough of your voice in running your own tour?

JIM COURIER: I think if we stand up and take advantage of it, yeah, we will have the voice. I don't think it has really been tested.

Q. What is the situation for next year, won't you have less to play next year than you commitment system, playing big tournaments?

JIM COURIER: No, it is the same.

Q. Can you --

JIM COURIER: With less flexibility, though. It is the same amount of tournaments with less flexibility. But they are paying you a hell of a lot of money. If you need it.

Q. Looking back on your year, honestly, have you enjoyed it? Have you enjoyed all of it? Some of it?

JIM COURIER: It has been-- I think every year has its peaks and valleys in everybody's lives, and certainly this year, no matter what job you do, my job has had lots of peaks and valleys, and overall, it has been a blast. Been a blast. Been a great ride. If you let me go back and have this year, I'd take it every single time, every single time.

Q. How deep have your valleys been?

JIM COURIER: Been some deep valleys and been some enormously high peaks.

Q. How important is this tournament for you? Is it very important, or is it something towards the end of the year, a way to finish the year?

JIM COURIER: I think it's a very important tournament when you get the best players together, I think it is very special, and it's a big tournament.

Q. Is the court exactly the same as last year?

JIM COURIER: Seems to be about the same.

Q. Quick?

JIM COURIER: Quickish. It is medium, to medium fast. It's a unique surface, the slice bites, but the topspin grabs and bounces.

Q. You then got some snorkeling planned after this?

JIM COURIER: After the Davis Cup.

Q. Postpone this year?

JIM COURIER: Yeah, I got picked for the team this year.

Q. Not too sad not to play in France, Davis Cup this year?

JIM COURIER: Not too sad.

Q. If you were to play Boris Becker after Paris, what do you think about the match here?

JIM COURIER: Well, if I were to play Boris, I think we would both be in the semifinals or the final, so I think it would be-- both of us are playing well. It is always a new chance. Every time you go out on the court it's a new match, so it would be different. We will have to see what happens. There are a lot of things have to happen first to play; hopefully we will.

Q. After a week in Frankfurt what do you think, you are still number one?

JIM COURIER: I hope so. But it is out of my control. I just go out there and play my best tennis and whatever happens, happens, and it has been a great year for me and I am not really worried about it.

Q. You think they have a chance, the Swiss, or not?


Q. Because John said 95/5 was his percentage?

JIM COURIER: John is a confident man. You got two good singles players and good doubles team. Anything can happen.

Q. What do people think of Rosset on the tour in general?

JIM COURIER: I think the general consensus -- it is obvious that he plays his best when he is playing for his country, and I think everyone respects the way he is capable of playing. He hasn't shown consistency throughout the year to do it on a high enough level to get a really high ranking, but he is certainly capable of playing a great week, a great couple of weeks, here and there.

Q. If you are playing singles, does he scare you more than Hlasek in a way?

JIM COURIER: I wouldn't really say that neither of them really scare me.

Q. Maybe scare isn't the word.


Q. Give you pause?

JIM COURIER: Yeah, but they are both -- I think they are both tough, equally in different ways because Hlasek is a serve and volleyer for the most part. If he is serving well, he is very difficult, and Rosset is not a natural serve and volleyer. He does indoors quite a bit because he has a good serve. If you hit the returns down at him, you are in good shape. But if he is serving strong, you could be walking from side to side without touching the ball.

Q. Leconte said practicing in Paris, "nice serve." After the Slams that you won this year, is that the most important thing for you at this point?

JIM COURIER: It would look great in my living room, the Cup. I think it is something that I would treasure if we get a chance to do it. Hopefully over the course of my career, hopefully this year, if not this year, certainly over the course of my career, I think we are going to get one.

Q. It would look good?

JIM COURIER: It really would. It really -- really help the collection that I am trying to build.

Q. What do you guys think of -- John has been lobbying like every stop on the tour for a captain seat. I mean, everywhere I go wherever he gets a chance, when I get to be captain, if I am captain, is that just-- Do you respect his desire?

JIM COURIER: Yeah, I do.

Q. Do you feel bad for Tom a little bit?

JIM COURIER: I can't really -- I think Tom has done a good job. I think John would do a good job. I am not picking. I am not picking any sides, but I think that they are both are good candidates.

Q. He was telling me that it matters to John more than anything at all. Do you think more or less--

JIM COURIER: That is basically what he is focusing on is to do that next year if he can get the job.

Q. Yannick said in Paris a couple of weeks ago he felt if McEnroe had been on the team last year--

JIM COURIER: I think that it was weird last year because you had -- you had three guys there that hadn't played Davis Cup all year long, you had Andre, I mean, it was just-- you are throwing a new chemistry again for the final. I think that is risky play. It didn't pan out. So I think yeah, John should have been there playing doubles, no doubt.

Q. Do the Swiss have any chance to win?

JIM COURIER: Yeah, they do. For sure.

Q. Tell me what that chance is.

JIM COURIER: I can't give you a percentage basis chance. They are in every rumble--

Q. You are not supposed use that word when it comes to -- it has connotation.

JIM COURIER: It has plenty of connotations. It could be your slick shoes to go out in the rain, but you know, they are in every rumble. There is no sort of easy match there. Two good doubles and two good singles players.

Q. Is the politics of that going to affect them in terms of their moral?

JIM COURIER: I don't think so. I think you have got the same players playing.

Q. Particularly who would be the one to fear?

JIM COURIER: I think it's a blend.

Q. Very different Davis Cup?

JIM COURIER: Yes, very different.

Q. Would you like to see John eventually take over?

JIM COURIER: Eventually, yeah. I don't think-- I don't want to come out and say, I think John should be captain next year. It is not my decision and I like Tom Gorman too much to say anything like that. I think Tom does a great job, so, I am not going to take sides.

Q. Everybody says the last few weeks, months, that Jim Courier is going to finally-- he shows that he is a human being and not a machine. Here you are still number one. Is the machine--

JIM COURIER: That is a good one. I haven't heard that.

Q. I mean, here you are still number one, what does this prove that you don't have to always win a tournament, get to the final, semifinal; just to keep that up; you don't seem to care?

JIM COURIER: What is to worry about? I go out and play the best I can, and--

Q. There is that little notch.

JIM COURIER: That is what I do.

Q. I mean, you were unbeatable this time last year?

JIM COURIER: I mean I said it before, you put me back January 1, I will take this year for the next 10. Next 10 I play, you give me two Grand Slam titles, and I will walk away next ten years. That would be 20, so I am certainly not going to throw this year back. It has been a great year for me, and I think I am playing pretty well right now.

Q. How much does number one mean, it is such a myth number one, this number one, that number one, is it really so important?

JIM COURIER: Now that I have reached it once, you know, it is like something that I have done, and hopefully, you know, I can just work; get the focus back on improving my game, and trying to be the best player that Jim Courier can be, because when I first reached number one I had-- mentally I was just, Christ, what is going on here, and now I am just used to it and the ranking has kind of subsided in the back of my head, it is nice to have, but I rather have titles.

Q. Losing to Krajicek in Antwerp, does it bother you?

JIM COURIER: I don't have a problem with losing a match if a guy beats me and plays better than me. I have a problem if I play -- if I perform poorly. Win or lose, I am not too happy. I am a little happier if I win, but that is the big theme for me, performance.

Q. You turned down an offer to play Munich?

JIM COURIER: I thought I qualified.

Q. Invitation. One or two of your fellow professionals did likewise, Boris who I have just spoken to still maintains that the money is too obscene. Is that the reason that you?

JIM COURIER: Let me put it this way. If they had done the tournament in Dade City, Florida I think I would play. Boris lives in Munich, I think for me it is a little strange that he won't play, but Boris, you know, he plays when he feels like playing. I guess he doesn't think that he would be ready to play and you shouldn't do that. For me, it doesn't fit the schedule.

Q. It is the end of the year. There is no more schedule.

JIM COURIER: Well, you are forgetting about the rest. Everybody needs an off-season. It is a very important part to an athlete, what he needs to do.

Q. See what I am hearing from you is this tournament in Munich doesn't have the credibility--

JIM COURIER: You want me to say it? This tournament is an exhibition, nothing more, nothing less, high priced exhibition.

Q. Yet you have gone on record many times saying you consider Grand Slam tournaments most important. Therefore, shouldn't we have a tournament that reflects the performances in a Grand Slam tournaments, isn't that fair?

JIM COURIER: Grand Slam Cup is an exhibition. It has no affect on the ranking. You win the tournament. You don't do anything. You win the tournament. You are playing on a supreme court. I mean, if it is going to be a true reflection on the Grand Slam, let's rotate-- let us play on clay next year, let us play on grass, etcetera --

Q. Terrific.

JIM COURIER: Who gives a shit about supreme court? Supreme court is shit. That is not tennis.

Q. Why then do you not want to play in a tournament that reflects how you Jim Courier and others did during the season around the Grand Slam tournaments?

JIM COURIER: Because it is not the Australia Open; not the French Open; not Wimbledon; not the U.S. Open. It is not a Grand Slam tournament. They could put $30 million in it; will never be a Grand Slam tournament. There are four. There will never be five or six or seven. It doesn't exist.

Q. Would you ever play in it?

JIM COURIER: I would play in it if I wasn't tired, if it was earlier in the year.

Q. It is not the money?

JIM COURIER: No, I played in plenty events and get paid a lot less and I am happy. The problem I have is purely with the schedule. I don't have any problem with the event at all? I wish it was in America. I'd play. I would play it.

Q. You seem pretty loose?

JIM COURIER: Loose. That got me heated. That was good.

Q. You feel looser now?

JIM COURIER: Yeah, I think I am. I think I am, yeah.

Q. Jim at the U.S. Open you said you had to do something to recharge your batteries, so what did you do since?

JIM COURIER: I took four weeks without tournaments after Davis Cup.

Q. You stayed in Florida?

JIM COURIER: I was in Florida for a week I then went to practice for three weeks in California with Jose.

Q. How much time do you spend with your coach, with Higueras?

JIM COURIER: As much as I can.

Q. What do you think -- do you feel your batteries are totally recharged or is there a difference?

JIM COURIER: I am feeling good. I am fresh, yeah.

Q. You have fun playing tennis again?


Q. You seem to be a bit having lost fun playing tennis at the U.S. Open, was my impression?

JIM COURIER: I was dead. I was dead. I played the Olympics, and all through the summer and I was absolutely dead tired. I had no legs and no -- worst of all, no real heart. Just because -- too tired.

Q. You played too much this year or--

JIM COURIER: In that stretch, yes.

Q. So you would learn something about that for next year?

JIM COURIER: Luckily, the Olympics comes once every four years because it is too tough to have-- you have the French Open, two weeks off, Wimbledon, three weeks off -- excuse me, year three or four weeks off, you have Olympics three weeks off, and U.S. Open, one week off; Davis Cup. Every time you turn around there was another big event staring you in the face and it is too much like this, goes up and down, Peak, valley, peak, valley, peak, valley- just don't do it.

Q. Boris just said when he became number one, his problem was he wanted to enjoy it, so this was the problem?

JIM COURIER: Tough balance. You can't. You are not allowed to Everybody else is trying to catch you. You have to put aside the ranking and just do what you -- what got you there and try and get better because everybody else is trying to climb up the ladder, and that is the beauty of it.

Q. Did you think about enjoying being number one?

JIM COURIER: I do enjoy it. From time to time, you know, I do enjoy not -- not being number one, I enjoy being a professional tennis player who has lots of amazing opportunities to meet interesting people; travel the world, and make a good living doing it, but you don't have to be number one to do that. You could be number number 100, number 1,000 to do it. You got to enjoy everything, if you can't you got to try to enjoy it.

Q. Is there no special feeling being number one?

JIM COURIER: It is nice to have in the back of your head. It is kind of -- it was very strange to me when I first turned I was walking down the street and someone goes hey, there is number one BLA BLA BLA, that is really, when you think about it, there are a lot of people in the world that play tennis and that computer, crazy as it may be, says that today, you are the best tennis player that plays. You are the best one that picks up a racket. That is pretty amazing, it really is.

Q. What can you improve in your game, you said it is important to be focused on improving?

JIM COURIER: I can improve everything. My backhand can get better, my serve can use a lot of improvement. Volleys, glaring weakness.

Q. Is there something special for you playing Wimbledon next year or is it just one of four?

JIM COURIER: It's a big tournament for me. I'd like to play well there.

Q. If Rosset would ask you for advice what would you tell him?

JIM COURIER: In general?

Q. Just-- yeah, let us say about in general?

JIM COURIER: My advise to anybody that plays is to try get the most out of your game, get the most out of your game; work as hard as you can.

Q. Especially for him, could you-- I mean you played him -- I remember two times it was in Australia where he had no chance and it was in the Olympics where you lost or I mean -- we don't have to discuss that. Maybe you can tell me something, did he improve or what do you think, how can he improve?

JIM COURIER: It is hard for me to say because he played great in the Olympics but he has been really up and down since then.

Q. You got a relationship with him besides--

JIM COURIER: Maybe it is just his personality, I don't know.

Q. Immature anyway?

JIM COURIER: I don't know if it's immature, maybe just he is a very up and down person. Maybe-- there are lots of mature people that are up and down. Lots of women.

Q. Playing the game, enjoying the game is the most important for you. Winning of course, but what kind of competitor bothers you most, I mean what kind of game disrupts your enjoying?

JIM COURIER: I don't know. I don't know-- disrupts my enjoyment, games where the points are very short and you don't get a chance to play.

Q. Hard courters are not your --

JIM COURIER: I think for everybody they are the toughest to play against. You are walking from side to side. Sometimes without playing points.

Q. Richard Krajicek just said there that it is not the serve that should be changed, but the surface. Slower surfaces?

JIM COURIER: They can slow the surfaces down. Make the balls heavier, there is lots of things they can do.

Q. Do you think that they ought to or --

JIM COURIER: Change the surfaces?

Q. Yes.

JIM COURIER: I think outdoors, we don't have a problem. I think where you get the problem is indoors, because there is no other forces to disturb a server. Outside you have the sun, the wind, and the ball travels slower through the air for some reason outside. Indoors, the surfaces tend to be low bouncing, fast surfaces, and they should be high bouncing, slow surfaces to offset the serving. Stefan and I both agree on that but neither of us have the bigger serves, so --

End of FastScripts....

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